“X” marks the platform formerly known as Twitter. Now owned by Elon Musk and fronted by new CEO hire, Linda Yaccarino, Musk announced Sunday that the social media platform, Twitter, has officially rebranded to X – further adding to the entrepreneur’s collection of X-themed ventures and products (e.g., SpaceX, xAI, Tesla Model X). The sweeping change has already hit the current online version of the platform (which will become X.com), but not yet the mobile app.
How are U.S. consumers initially reacting to the iconic blue bird being replaced with an ‘X’ and the retirement of the modern vernacular “Tweet” (v.) and “Tweets” (n.)?
New CivicScience polling data show that among those familiar with the breaking news (which adds up to 85% of adult U.S. respondents), far more disapprove of the change than approve. Close to a third of the general population (Gen Pop) say they have a negative reaction to the rebrand, with a greater percentage feeling ‘very negative’ about it. That’s compared to 14% who feel positively. The majority of people (53%) don’t really care about it either way.
However, when isolating by current Twitter users active over the last six months, reactions are far more mixed: 36% of daily users feel positive about the change, while 27% feel negative. Weekly users are the most opinionated, but are also more likely than daily users to react positively to the transition from Twitter to X, with 43% approving.
Interestingly, non-users are the most likely to think the change is negative – so at least at this point, it’s unlikely X is going to draw a surplus of new users.
That could change given that the platform is not just rebranding, but is expected to offer new functionality that includes “audio, video, messaging and banking capabilities” which will be “powered by AI.” While the rebrand alone might be disliked by a portion of current Twitter users and is a turn-off to non-users, it’s wait-and-see to learn how Musk’s plans for an “everything app” will perform.
Gauging current and forward-looking interest in the platform, CivicScience data found that 24% of respondents with an opinion are interested in using X with its expected features. That’s slightly less than reported regular Twitter usage – 27% of adults reported daily or weekly usage of Twitter for the month of July, while 15% reported they used the platform monthly or less (n=19.7K).
Daily Twitter users are the most interested in X, with 35% saying they are ‘very interested’ and another 26% ‘somewhat interested.’ That said, 40% of daily and a greater 51% of weekly users are not currently interested, so the move is likely to be disruptive.
What’s the likelihood that X will win back Twitter users who defected to Threads, Meta’s new microblogging app? Data suggest that’s a possibility. Nearly a third of those who use or have tried Threads express high interest in using X, while an additional 28% are at least somewhat interested. Overall, 60% of people who use or have tried Threads are interested in X.
The introduction of X is bound to keep things competitive, not to mention interesting. While Twitter’s rebrand appears to be divisive, it’s worth noting that major changes in big tech have been met with disagreement in the past. For example, the public heavily disliked the creation of Meta upon its announcement (although unlike Twitter, Facebook still retained its legacy name and likeness). It’s unsurprising that a big overhaul to a platform as household as Twitter, which has been around since 2006, would garner disapproval from some users – and Musk’s acquisition and subsequent changes have already shaken things up for the company.
Will people warm up to X in the future? Stay tuned as we continue to monitor consumer reception or work with us to get ahead of the curve.